View Full Version : Looking for beta for beginning of thriller

01-17-2011, 12:52 AM
am looking to exchange beginning chapters with someone who writes mystery, suspense, thriller or crime. Mine is a thriller set in the late 11th century (that I'm thinking of pitching as YA, but not sure yet). I'm mainly looking for feedback on opening chapters as I'm struggling with making these as compelling as possible. MS is in very polished state. Below is my current pitch:

Sixteen-year-old Leif Blackhair’s life takes a terrible turn when he wakes up after passing out at a drunken birthday feast: He’s accused of having raped and strangled a Jarlabanke daughter, member of one of Sweden’s most powerful Viking clans. And he doesn’t remember a thing.

Only when the People’s Assembly sentences him to exile and turns his family’s farm over to the Jarlabankes to pay for his crimes does Leif realize he was set up—by his supposed friend Ragnar Jarlabanke. Ragnar wants to get rid of Leif so he can get his hands on Leif’s new wife. In a fit of anger at Leif not being executed, Ragnar lets the truth slip in a private confrontation.

Leif must find a way to prove that Ragnar set him up. Of course, without evidence or witnesses, and considering the Jarlabankes’ influence over the community, his chances are grim. But if he doesn’t, he will never again see his beloved wife, and the Jarlabanke clan will work his father and siblings to death to make them pay for Leif’s assault on their honor…